Category Archives: Energy Committee

Volunteer on a Town of Medfield committee

town seal

Resolve in 2019 to get more involved in your community

The following Town of Medfield committees are looking for new members:

  • Medfield Energy Committee 
  • Conservation Committee
  • Council on Aging 
  • Master Planning Committee
  • Transfer Station and Recycling Committee

 

The Master Planning Committee is only just forming, so joining now gets you in from its first meeting – then lay out for the rest of us how the town should both develop and look in the future.

Solar open house today 2-4

Article from from the Medfield Press

Part of the National Solar Tour

Conner house

3 Donnelly Drive home from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6.

WALPOLE – A local family will open its doors to the public this weekend as part of a nationwide effort to promote solar power.

The Conner family is set to host a solar open house at their 3 Donnelly Drive home from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6. Participants will be invited to see the home’s solar array and learn more about the options available to them.

Penelope Conner, who is also chief customer officer at Eversource, said her family had set up the array during the “Solarize Medfield” drive, in which the town partnered with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the state’s Green Communities Division to lower local installation costs.

“We were thrilled to be a part of that campaign in 2016,” she said. “New England Clean Energy, which installed the panels, will be on-site (Saturday). They will be allowing folks to see the installation on the roof, as well as the equipment in the basement.”

Conner said she had invited the other participants of Solarize Medfield to the open house to share their stories, and that Eversource energy efficiency experts would be there also, discussing subjects like efficient appliances and how best to weatherize one’s home.

Conner said she and her husband had been interested in adding a solar array to their home for a long time and, when the time came to replace their roof, they chose to go with a metal roof to make installation easier.

“There are two ways it gives back. There’s the reduction of our energy bill – we’re saving $1,800 a year on energy,” she said, adding that placing the solar energy on the market qualifies for a clean-energy certificate. “We’re compensated for that – it generates about $1,600.”

Many people, said Conner, ask about the system’s payback. While a solar system is a large investment, she said the benefits could generate a payback in about seven years.

“If you’re thinking about replacing your roof, you should probably wait until after that (to get solar),” she said. “People also ask if we had to cut some trees down – indeed, we did.”

Conner said she was unsure how many people might attend the open house.

“I certainly sent out a lot of invitations,” she said. “I would love to see 100 people there.”

Mike Gleason can be reached at 508-316-2809 or mgleason@wickedlocal.com. For news throughout the day, follow him on Twitter @MGleason_MDN.

Energy Committee doings

MEC

Medfield Energy Committee

July 19, 2018 Agenda

Location:        Medfield Public Safety Building

Time:              7:30pm

  • Approval of June Minutes
  • Review of Streetlight project
  • Review/Update of The Green Communities Project(s) & hopefully,
  • Jerry’s final report to the Committee
  • DPW Solar Project Update
  • New Business

==============================================

Medfield Energy Committee   DRAFT

Meeting Notes for June 21, 2018

 

Attendees:  Lee Alinsky, Fred Davis, Paul Fechtelkotter, Cynthia Greene, Jerry McCarty, Marie Nolan

 

May 24, 2018 Meeting Minutes accepted.

 

Personnel announcement:

Jerry McCarty announced that he is leaving his position as Medfield Facilities Manager by Fall 2018.  He will be greatly missed by the MEC.  MEC asked Jerry to provide an Institutional Knowledge Report to the Town so that Medfield can continue his work on updating the O&M and capital budgeting plans for town facilities, as well as implementing all the facilities improvements currently being undertaken.

 

Streetlights Project

After the May MEC meeting, Jerry reported to Police Chief Meaney MEC’s recommendations on purchasing streetlights.  Jerry addressed a list of questions asked by the police chief including:

  • How do we report lights that are out? Police officer will call dispatcher and report Pole # has light out. Like they used to call Eversource, Police/Town will now call Maintenance Contractor.
  • Do we wait until several go out before getting replacements? No
  • How does one lodge complaints about lights or request additional ones? Same as today. Report to town hall offices, selectmen need to approve requests for additional lights.
  • Any liability issues? To be handled by maintenance contractor.
  • What happens if there is a downed pole? Eversource will fix pole (as they own pole) but contractor will re-install light.

 

Green Communities Update and Jerry’s Quarterly Report to DOER

MEC reviewed Jerry’s draft Green Communities Quarterly Report to DOER and made comments.  Jerry will send a copy, as amended to DOER.  This is the first report for the 2 energy conservation projects included in the grant of $146,815 from DOER awarded March 23, 2018:

1) LED interior and exterior lighting upgrades of 6 municipal buildings and

2) Blake Middle School’s Remote EMS including upgrades. (See Green Community Grant Progress and Financial Quarterly Report for the 4th Q-May June 2018 prepared June 21, 2018 by Town of Medfield Facilities).

 

MEC cannot submit an application for more grant money until the Town spends all the money from the first grant. Likely next steps are to do preliminary design work for replacement of the Domestic Hot Water (DHW) at Blake Middle School and upgrade the HS software.  MEC can ask for grant monies for a final design, selection of water heater and installation.  (Table 4 cost estimate in the Town’s Green Communities 5 yr Plan may be low as it does not include asbestos removal.)

 

Jerry may ask Rise Engineering to contact DOER to find out what we need to do in order to be able to get funding for upgrading of ? BIM software at the High School.

 

It was thought that a Press Release should be issued by MEC to inform the Town on the progress of the initiatives funded by the grant monies.

 

Next Steps:

Implement the contracts, hold kick-off meetings with contractors.

Rise ordered all the materials for the lighting upgrades.

Rise will do a final Commissioning Report in October 2018 that includes all the savings.

Retro-commissioning will be done in September/October 2018.

Town has a service maintenance contract with Trane.  Trane will conduct training sessions for employees, usually one for the heating season and one for the cooling season. MEC would like to be notified when these sessions are to occur and possibly attend.

 

DPW Solar Project

No progress to date. The Town did not send out request for bids.

 

Review/add/amend draft of Board/Committee Structure Policy Document

The draft is being amended and will be sent around to committee members for final comment and review.

 

Next meeting – July 19, 2018.  August meeting TBD.

 

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.

 

Notes respectfully submitted by

 

Marie Nolan

MEC on 5/24

MEC

Medfield Energy Committee                      DRAFT

Meeting Notes for May 24, 2018

Attendees: Fred Davis, Jerry McCarty, Pete Peterson, Cynthia Greene and Lee Alinsky.  Three members present so there was a quorum

Fred Davis recused himself from all discussions regarding the street lights

Past agendas and meeting minutes – Marion Bonoldi at Town Hall asked for agendas for 11/2/17, 1/11/18, and 2/15/18 and meeting minutes for 10/4/17 and 12/7/17.  If you have these, please send to Lee so he can forward onto Marion.

April 19, 2018 meeting minutes accepted

Street Lights – Lee went to Millis and Marie and Cynthia went to Millis and Westwood to see their LED street lights.   In Millis the main street lights are 4,000 K and the side streets are 3,000.  We need to ask the designer what kind of fixtures and how the LEDs should be placed in the lights, parallel or perpendicular to the road.

Next Steps –

  1. Jerry will ask George Woodbury about the fixtures, bids on labor and other documentation.
  2. Jerry will ask the Police Chief what they consider the main roads and where to put the 4,000K LEDs.
  3. Jerry will meet with the Board of Selectman regarding the purchase agreement with Eversource. Jerry will get the new documentation that is needed as the last purchase agreement expired.

Green Communities

  • There is a signed contract for LED lights for the MS, HS, Memorial, Wheelock, Library and Town Hall. Installations should be done by the end of the summer. RISE submitted paperwork to Eversource for the rebate and once Eversource gives the OK we will purchase the lights.  Contract is for $130,515.  Eversource incentive $60,005, $68,281.15 from the GC grant and the Town will pay $2,285.50
  • Retrocommissioning was given the go ahead by DOER. The contracts have been signed by RISE and it has been given to Train the subcontractor, and we are waiting for a schedule.  Jerry is aiming to have this work completed by October.
  • Jerry will send the GC quarterly report to the committee before the next meeting and before he sends it to the state. If you have a comment, respond just to Jerry.
  • Lee will call Kelly Brown to find out when the next round of grants for the GC are expected to come out.

DPW Solar – Jerry is reaching out to Solar Design Associates for the design.

Board Committee Structure Policy document – The BOS is putting this into place so that each committee is formalized.  Lee sent a draft to all on 5/8/18.   The BOS want to make sure the committees are meeting and that they submit an annual report.

Next Step – Lee asked that all read and help fill in the blanks by 6/15/18.

 

Gas hot water heaters at the HS – had a catastrophic failure and Jerry is purchasing an energy efficient 130 gallon tank that will replace a 400 gallon tank.   We discussed tankless water heaters, but by code Jerry has to have the hot water at the tap at 110 degrees and so a tankless heater would not meet that code.

 

Plastic bag ban – Andy Costello is championing this for the solid waste committee and she presented to the BOS who authorized her to continue to explore the option.  Lee opened the subject up to the committee and Fred suggested we invite Andy to the MEC to explain the proposal.

 

Next meeting – June 21, 2018

 

Meeting adjourned at 8:58 pm

Notes respectfully submitted by

Cynthia Greene

MEC

At the Medfield Energy Committee meeting last week, the MEC recommended that the new LED streetlights be 4,000K (Kelvin) on the main streets and 3,000K on the side streets, with the suggestion that the Medfield Police Department determine which streets are main and which are secondary.  This is the approach recommended by the town’s LED streetlight consultant, George Woodbury.

Westwood has opted to use 4,000K and Millis has used 3,000K.

MEC

4-19-18 DRAFT MEC Meeting Minutes                                                                      19 April 2018

 

 

Marie Nolan, Jerry McCarty, Lee Alinsky, Paul Fechtelkotter

 

March meetings minutes approved as submitted

 

Green Communities

 

  • Approved projects – RISE met with Jerry last Tuesday and he anticipates having contracts ready to be signed by the Board of Selectman by next Tuesday. One contract will be for lighting: replacement of selected existing lighting fixtures with LEDs in the Town Hall parking lot, the library and all schools except Dale. The 2nd will be for engineering work related to retro-commissioning.
  • Future projects – Jerry is looking at replacing the hot water heater at the Middle School as the next priority project to include in the next grant request. We would request funding to partially subsidize the project (to be combined with utility rebates and town funding). Jerry has asked for money to do design work in the FY19 budget. We also plan to resubmit a grant request for retro-commissioning at the High School, which was rejected last year.  The committee will revisit Table 4 in the next couple of months to target additional projects potential submission.

 

DPW solar

  • Jerry continues discussions with Solar Design Associates (SDA) to clarify the elements of the design contract and to get them to provide more detail on the exact scope of services to be provided.

 

Streetlights

  • The committee hasn’t received information from George Woodbury regarding a list of towns near Medfield with 3000K lights. He suggested visiting Newburyport but that is too far to be practical.
  • There has been no response to Lee’s email asking for follow up on the logistics associated with receiving a couple of lamps to physically test in Medfield.
  • The contract with Eversource needs to be updated with small items (e.g. dates) but nothing substantial. These changes must be made prior to moving forward with the town’s purchase of the fixtures.

 

 

Dale Street Replacement and the possibility of making it solar-ready

  • A study is underway to determine the needs for the Dale Street replacement (size, target programs, location, etc). This study should take approximately 8 months to complete. The town will then move into the design phase, where the PBC will solicit public input – making the building solar-ready could be discussed at that point. We are probably at least a year away from this point.

 

 

 

Potential for PV at Middle/High School

  • Jerry said that FY20 would likely be the time to secure funding for design work to begin.
  • Jerry doubted that the Middle School would have the structural capacity for solar. He also believed that the High School would have limited capacity for solar given the amount of space taken up by roof top equipment.

 

 

 

Submitted by Paul Fechtelkotter

MEC annual report

MEC

Medfield Energy Committee

2017 Annual Report

To the Honorable Selectmen and residents of Medfield

 

The Medfield Energy Committee (MEC) was chartered by the Select Board in 2008 to help the Town reduce energy consumption and operating costs.  We have been making steady progress on reducing energy use and supporting generation of renewable energy.

 

The MEC would like to thank Fred Bunger, past Chair of the Committee since 2015 for all his hard work and accomplishments and welcome Lee Alinsky as the new Chair.  We also would like to thank Jerry McCarty, the Town Facilities Director, who has taken over the tasks of Andrew Seaman, the former Town Energy Manager, and who is helping the committee with energy planning and implementation for the Town in addition to his other duties as Town Facilities Director.

 

The Town of Medfield tracks energy use through the Massachusetts Energy Insight program.  For fiscal year 2017 (July 2016 to June 2017) the Town used 45,671 MMBTU of energy at the cost of $570,835 for electricity and $99,326 for natural gas, a reduction from fiscal year 2016 of 6.7% in energy use and 12% in cost.

 

The following are the 2017 MEC activities and energy use reductions achieved by the Town.

 

The 281 Kilowatt (kW) solar array installed at the Medfield Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) in 2015 continued to contribute significant savings to the cost of energy. In calendar year 2017, the panels have generated 265,280 kW of electricity, or 49% of electricity use at the WWTP. This generation rate is less than 2016 because in August an inverter failed.  The component was under warranty and was repaired and the system only lost a couple of weeks of peak generation. In addition, the Town collected $68,000 in Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) which made the project cash positive for the year.  Those earnings went into the WWTP Sewer Enterprise Fund.  The savings from the solar array helped reduce the planned water and sewer rate increase from an anticipated 4% to 2%.

 

The WWTP solar project, approved at 2015 Town Meeting, was budgeted at $700,000, but with the fall in the price of solar panels, was completed $268,200 under budget. The surplus was set aside for a solar project on the Department of Public Works (DPW) garage and that project was approved at the 2016 Town Meeting.

 

The Town has been working with Solar Design Associates to update and modify drawings and specifications for the DPW garage solar project public bid. It is anticipated that this site can accommodate a 155 kW solar panel installation.   This project is to be funded from the surplus from the WWTP installation.

 

A 60 kW solar array was installed on the new Public Safety Building in 2016 and electricity from the solar array feeds directly into the building and offsets the building’s total energy usage.  In 2017 the solar array generated 53,559 kW of electricity, 18.5% of the building’s electricity use.

 

At the 2017 Town Meeting, the Town voted to be designated by the Commonwealth as a Green Community and become eligible for grants to implement energy reduction measures in the Town.  The MEC worked with the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC) and RISE Engineering to develop a 5 year plan of energy improvements and energy reduction projects to submit to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) for approval.  On February 13, 2018 the DOER approved the energy savings measures proposed by Medfield and once contracts are approved for the first year of measures, the DOER will award the Town an initial grant of $146,738. The measures include conversion of school and town building and exterior site parking lights to LED as well as an upgrade of the Blake Middle School Building Management System software, and retro commissioning of the Blake heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.  It is anticipated that these upgrades will be completed in 2018 and save the Town approximately $48,000 in annual energy costs.

 

On the residential and commercial side of the Town, the 2016 Medfield’s Solarize Massachusetts Solar Challenge program was a huge success. Marie Nolan was the Medfield Solar Coach and directed the program that encouraged homeowners to install solar panels by offering lower installation costs, as more installations were signed-up.  New England Clean Energy was selected by the Committee as the solar vendor for the Town.  Over the six-month Solarize Medfield program, Medfield residents signed 29 contracts with New England Clean Energy for photovoltaic (PV) systems, which represent 259 kW worth of capacity. Twenty-two systems were installed successfully in 2017 after 7 were installed in 2016.  With these installations, there was an 82% increase in PV capacity compared to Medfield’s residential renewables generation by PV before the program started.

Medfield residents with PV systems are saving on their electric bills, earning green income thorough SRECs, and offsetting carbon emissions.  If residents are already in the SREC program, they will continue to receive 10 years’ worth of SRECs.  SRECs are the positive environmental attributes associated with the energy production that are purchased by retail electricity suppliers –  one SREC is created for every 1-megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity.

At the 2017 Town Meeting, the Town voted to purchase the Town’s 347 street lights from Eversource for $1.00 and convert them to LED.   The Town has hired Lightsmart Energy Consulting to perform a required baseline audit of the street light fixtures.  The MEC is working with the MAPC and Lightsmart Energy Consultants to determine LED light specifications for purchase and installation as well as a maintenance contract.

 

The MEC usually meets on the second Thursday evening of the month at either the Town Garage or at the Public Safety Building.  The public is always invited to attend the meetings, participate in the discussion and offer help in reducing energy consumption in the Town.  Residents interested in becoming a member of the Energy Committee are encouraged to contact the Energy Committee Chair or the Town Administrator.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Lee Alinsky, Chair

Penni Conner

Fred Davis

Paul Fechtelkotter

Cynthia Greene

Maciej Konieczny

Marie Nolan

Jerry McCarty, Facilities Director, Ex-Officio

Osler Peterson, Selectman, Ex-Officio

Michael Sullivan, Town Administrator, Ex-Officio

 

 

 

MEC on 3/15

MEC

DRAFT

MEDFIELD ENERGY COMMITTEE

Meeting 3/15/18

 

Lee Alinsky, Cynthia Greene, Paul Fechtelkotter, Fred Davis, Pete Peterson, Jerry McCarty

  1. Minutes for 2/15 meeting accepted with modification, appreciation to Marie Nolan.
  2. Lee expressed appreciation to all for work on submitting Annual Report, and to Cynthia in particular for her leadership, during his absence last month.
  3. Green Communities – Jerry McCarty
    1. All items sent in to DOER, and approved by them, awaiting authority to proceed
    2. Then will proceed with contract with RISE
      1. Lighting: would take a couple of months. Fred: didn’t review the screw-ins for exterior of library and town hall.
      2. Retro-commissioning at Middle School: software, which is browser-based, gets installed by Trane 2-3 wks; then couple more weeks to adjust; then hand-off to retro-commissioning agent, Stephen Turner Inc.; training would be by Trane, in two segments: one soon and other in fall. Lee suggests the training be scheduled in advance, for whoever might benefit from it. Process will identify: control issues, which will be covered; but also hardware failures, which will require fixing, probably with outside contractor and funds from other than grant. RISE will produce the report of energy savings projected as a result of retro-commissioning work.
      3. Paul: when is next GC cycle? We have to completely spend / finish this set of measures before we can submit for another round.
      4. Next round, a high priority is DHW at Middle School: existing system is heating 2000 gal of water heating, even though we’re only using about 400 gal/day; needs replacing (22 years of a 20-year lifetime); perhaps go to two 100 gal high-efficiency. Fred recommends looking into solar DHW.
      5. High School retro-commissioning did not make it into FY19 budget, but will be, hopefully FY20. We were not given a reason why DOER rejected this; Jerry will ask why. Perhaps the Middle School retro-commissioning results will provide further justification, either to DOER or in town.
      6. Cynthia: we should apply for behavioral training, so that teachers and students gain in awareness.
  4. DPW Solar – Jerry McCarty – Received a proposal from Solar Design Associates (Ashley Deitrich) for ~$27,000, for design work, RFP prep, bid support, systems commissioning. Jerry has asked for clarification, detailed wording, awaiting response. Bid will be in components: base bid (North roof), two alternates (flat South roof, hip Central roof). Permanent Building Committee will look at the construction details. Jerry was a little surprised at price, as SDA had already looked at the building for a design-build bid.
  5. Street Lighting – Jerry McCarty -Jerry still needs to connect with George Woodbury, to ask him for recommendations about fixtures. And ask a few particulars: what if a few new poles or fixtures are needed? And how to ensure that maintenance costs will stay constant (reviewing Franklin situation). Lee: we need to move ahead with all due haste.
  6. Canopy photovoltaics – Lee -Would like to see PV canopies, perhaps on walkway between HS and Middle School, also over parking lots, also with EV chargers in parking lots. Superintendent would like to see a bit more study on this; and watch out for student drivers. There is funding for both EV and PV. Lee will pursue. Cynthia suggests pitching this as an educational opportunity; with a dashboard.
  7. PV on roofs of Middle and HS? Jerry: High School due for a partial roof replacement (over gym etc.), the newer area might be strong enough for PV; Middle School due for roof replacement; roof structure might need strengthening.
  8. Dale Street replacement building: Jerry: when it is time, q would arise: will it be solar? or solar-ready? MSBA, which funds schools, generally will not fund solar either way; Energy Committee would want to weigh in.
  9. Mass Energy Insight: Jerry still filling some in some areas.
  10. Jerry’s 20-year Capital Plan (500+ pages): includes a lot of energy-improvements, for instance improving roof insulation, better windows, HVAC equipment, etc.
  11. Next Meeting: Thursday April 19.

 

Minutes respectfully submitted by Fred Davis.